NEWS & BLOG
Individuals and businesses across the nation are showing support for [...]
In collaboration with Dow and Midland’s Emergency Operations Center, United [...]
United Way of Midland County has partnered with 211 Northeast [...]
United Way of Midland County this week partnered with [...]
As Michigan takes measures to help stop the spread of [...]
The COVID-19 Coalition — a combination of philanthropy, government, educational, [...]
Individuals and businesses across the nation are showing support for Midland in the wake of the recent flood devastation.
“It takes real strength to come together and rise above crisis,” said Holly Miller, president and CEO of United Way of Midland County. “There’s no rulebook for how to handle a historic flood on top of a pandemic, but our community and Emergency Operations are showing up to help each other in huge ways. Rebuilding does not happen overnight, nor does it happen alone. We are doing this together. Our unity is inspiring others beyond our backyard to join us in our efforts to move forward.”
In the last 10 days, businesses and individuals have donated over $2.2 million dollars to United Way of Midland County’s Rise Together Fund.
A $500,000 donation from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation—along with their additional $500,000 in matching grant support—helped establish the fund and double the efforts to support fragile families affected by recent events.
“Once again, the generosity of the people of Michigan came through for those who suffered losses in the flood. Thank you to our partners in philanthropy and business, as well as individuals, for extending a lifeline of hope. The road to recovery will be long, but we will ‘Rise Together’,” said Ruth Alden Doan, President of The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.
The Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation also contributed a generous gift to the Rise Together Fund, investing $200,000 to provide hope for so many experiencing loss in our community.
As the water recedes, the needs will rise. Donations to the Rise Together Fund will focus on providing resources to vulnerable and hurting people in Midland County in the wake of the flood and Covid-19. This includes our ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population. These hardworking families are often one crisis away from falling into poverty. The pandemic combined with this historic flood are proving to be that emergency. The fund will also help provide innovative new ways to serve and create stability for this population for years to come.
“One out of three families in our own backyard are ALICE or below—that was before recent events,” Miller added. “The Rise Together Fund is designed to meet the financial and human needs of our most vulnerable citizens—those living in poverty, ALICE and the many whose life circumstances have radically changed.”
Dow and United Way partner all year long to engage their employees for impact. During the flood devastation, Dow is playing a pivotal role in connecting community members with critical relief resources. In addition to their generous $250,000 gift, the company is collaborating with United Way to turn the Dow corporate aviation hangar at MBS International Airport into a collection site for donated supplies.
“In these difficult times, partnerships like those between Dow and the United Way are as important as ever before,” said Jim Fitterling, Dow chairman and CEO. “And together with the help of so many others throughout this community, our state and beyond, we will continue to find ways to provide support – both through distribution centers across the region and in working with our network of global partners, suppliers and customers to source more donations. We appreciate everything that so many have selflessly offered so quickly and encourage those who can give to donate items, contribute financially and help out our neighbors still in need.”
Team Dow has also harnessed their supply chain expertise to sort, inventory and deliver items to eight distribution sites across Midland County manned by dedicated Dow volunteers.
Corteva Agriscience has generously contributed a $100,000 challenge grant to United Way of Midland County’s Rise Together Fund and challenges others to donate as donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000. The grant is a reflection of Corteva’s company values to enrich lives in communities.
Numerous local companies have shown support for their neighbors through generous donations. Businesses from across the nation have also given monetary gifts and items to help fill gaps and meet basic needs.
A small snapshot of corporate generosity directed towards Midland include monetary donations from:
- S. Mott Foundation
- Chemical Bank, A Division of TCF National Bank
- Consumers Energy
- Isabella Bank
- Huntington Bank
- Molina Health
United Way has also received numerous in-kind donations from across the country. Some examples are:
- Dr Pepper Keurig
- Sam’s Club
As Midland moves forward, health and safety remain top priorities for United Way. The organization is partnering with the local health department to ensure proper protocols and resources are in place to protect the community.
Amidst the devastation, Midland is a reflection of what it looks like to Live United, Miller said.
“Our community response highlights the generous hearts and incredible people, businesses and organizations that are the building blocks of Midland,” Miller added. “Despite recent events, we rise, navigating uncharted territories. We are neighbors helping neighbors. We will all press forward together to ensure this community remains a thriving place to live and work.”
In collaboration with Dow and Midland’s Emergency Operations Center, United Way of Midland County has created a process for those who wish to donate and access items for flood relief.
“We are so grateful for the overwhelming generosity of people, corporations and organizations—both in our own backyard and across the nation—who want to donate items to help those impacted by this severe event,” said Holly Miller, executive director of United Way of Midland County. “For those who have been eager to donate and help: we see you, we hear you, we appreciate you.”
The Supplies Donations Plan provides a framework to collect and distribute donated items to those in need.
“Along with United Way and numerous organizations, we are stepping forward together in order to best respond to the flood devastation,” said Jennifer Boyer, Midland County’s Emergency Management Coordinator. “We must stress how important it is that people refrain from simply showing up at a location with a truck full of donations. This can create confusion and ultimately cause more harm than good. This process exists in order to get much-need items in the hands of those who need it most.”
UPDATED 6/3/2020: The current list of items needed includes:
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Cleaning supplies
- Non-perishable food
- Trash Bags
- Work gloves
- Pump Sprayers
- Box Fans
Clothing donations will not be accepted at this time.
“As described by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, clothing is one of the items deemed unnecessary in a disaster situation,” Miller said. “We are appreciative to those who want to donate clothes, but we are focused on solely collecting items that will help fulfill basic needs.”
Beginning Wednesday, May 27, the following locations will serve as both drop-off sites for those who wish to donate items—as well pick-up sites for individuals who need access to supplies— between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week to start:
- West Midland Family Center, 4011 W. Isabella Road
- Coleman High School, 4951 N. Lewis Road
- Sanford Senior Center, 3243 N. West River Road
- Meridian Elementary School, 3343 N. Meridian Road
- North Family Center, 2601 E. Shearer Road
- Gladwin downtown – parking lot behind Forge Fitness, 237 W. Cedar, Gladwin; corner of Arcade & Grout
- Midland High School, 1301 Eastlawn Drive
- Bullock Creek High School, 1420 S. Badour Road
Businesses or organizations who want to donate items must first fill out United Way’s Supplies Donations Survey online at reliefmidland.org by clicking the ‘Supplies Donations’ button. Once the survey is complete, United Way will be in contact within 48 hours to discuss next steps. If the need is urgent, businesses can indicate the urgency within the survey and United Way will be in touch as soon as possible.
Dow is lending their supply chain expertise and deploying employee volunteers to the drop-off and distribution sites across the county.
“Many thanks to Dow for their willingness to step into this space to help ensure our community gets what they need as efficiently and effectively as possible,” Miller said.
“The execution of the Supplies Distribution Plan is a reflection of the collaborative efforts of Midland’s organizations, businesses, agencies and leadership,” Miller added.
Along with Dow, those offering resources to provide community support include The Salvation Army, the Arnold Center, Great Lakes Loons and local restaurants. United Way is also partnering with the Health Department to ensure proper protocols are in place to maintain safety and health guidelines.
“Our community is equipped to stand up from this devastation because of the outpouring of support,” Miller said. “In times of crisis, our community continues to rise above, again and again. Midland is showing the nation right now what it looks like to truly live united.”
United Way of Midland County has partnered with 211 Northeast Michigan to launch a national public service announcement to encourage proactive choices when setting financial priorities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Titled “Keeping Your Family Afloat,” the PSA offers a reminder that resources such the government stimulus check and other resources are designed to help families fulfill household gaps during this challenging time. This is especially helpful for the many hardworking ALICE families (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) who are often one crisis away from poverty and those facing unemployment or underemployment.
“The impact of COVID-19 goes beyond the here and now,” said Holly Miller, executive director of United Way of Midland County. “We want to remind people that resources they have access to now are a supportive boost, but many are one-time only. We have a long road ahead of us. Our hope is that individuals and families have the tools and resources they need for long-term success.”
The PSA centers on a family sailing in a boat. It compares the COVID-19 response to a rainstorm of life factors — childcare, unemployment, rent, etc. — and how this storm can sink the family ship. But the family is proactive, using helpful “buckets” (resources from the government and community) to remove the water and stay afloat until they land on shore under sunny skies, surrounded by the community.
In the PSA, people are also directed to call 211 if they need help. 211 is a free, confidential referral and information helpline and website that connects people to the essential health and human services they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“In times of crisis — especially an unprecedented time such as this pandemic — our day-to-day responsibilities like car payments, rent and childcare can feel overwhelming and unmanageable,” said Sarah Kile, executive director of 211 Northeast Michigan. “This PSA reiterates the message that prioritizing and making the best choices financially — rather than the easier choice — can help put families in a much healthier, stable position now and in the future. When our community is in crisis, it is important to know that no matter what, no matter when, 211 is here for you.”
To view the PSA, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM864Fo4zr0
United Way of Midland County this week partnered with Corteva Agriscience to host the Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network mobile food pantry, feeding over 1,000 local families.
On Thursday, volunteers from Corteva, United Way of Midland County, Great Lakes Bay Veterans Coalition, Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network and numerous community members distributed food at Midland High School.
“Food continues to be the No. 1 request through 2-1-1,” said Holly Miller, executive director of United Way of Midland County. “We recognize many need food help, some for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Corteva is an amazing partner, providing dollars and volunteers to ensure food continues to be available for so many who are counting on this lifeline.”
The group worked together to distribute enough food to feed 3,600 individuals. For the health and safety of volunteers and participants, attendees were asked to stay in their vehicles for the distribution. Volunteers also wore gloves and cloth masks.
Corteva Michigan employees have donated to United Ways across the region, with a generous corporate match for the first $5,000 of employee gifts to support the response to COVID-19.
Corteva began collecting monetary donations on March 16, raising enough money to help finance this mobile food pantry and other ways to ensure food continues to be available for those on the frontlines and ALICE families.
“We are grateful to Corteva and their team for stepping up,” Miller said. “When we have organizations, nonprofits, and community members coming together, we can wrap our arms around our neighbors and help lift each other up.”